The Instigator
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0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Religion shouldn't be forced on children in schools

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/6/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,013 times Debate No: 58620
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (15)
Votes (1)




We're talking mainly about Christianity here, but you can point out other religions

(Also please note that atheism and agnosticism are NOT religions)

Round one: Acceptance
Round two: Opening arguments
Round three: Rebuttals
Round four: Closing argument
Round five: Conclusion/Final thoughts


I accept.

Can our for the purposes of clairity so that we are not talking past one another -
Public vs Private Schools or all schools?
Do you consider ID (intellegent design) religion (just so i know how to frame the debate).

Debate Round No. 1


We're talking all schools (except ones that are clearly labelled as Christian)

First off, lets look at evolution; in many schools it is taught that evolution did not happen, and that "God did it" even though that although we have clearly observed evolution, we have never observed god placing down a new species on earth.

Secondly, freedom; Shouldn't we ALL have the freedom to express our religion (if you even follow one) and NOT be pressurised to convert by other people, and when that weight is put on children, it can be EXTREMELY stressful. Think about it this way: You wouldn't walk up to a girl wearing a burqa and tell her about the story of Jesus, and how Christianity is the only true faith. Why? Because it would be offensive, and it potentially limits freedom of speech.

Thirdly: Christian schools. Yes, I know that we wouldn't be talking about Christian schools and all of that, but when was the last time you saw a school for atheists? Or Muslims? Or Jews? You just don't see those around!

So, as my first argument, I do heavily disagree that schools should say that Christianity is the only faith, also, I disagree with schools using the bible as a teaching method.

One last thing, wouldn't teaching a religion that condemns homosexuality SO much be uncomfortable, and possibly even offensive to homosexual pupils?


I believe this is a very interesting debate and one that takes places a lot. We will stick for the argument of public schools as you wish, and I prefer it as well. I am actually glad you started this debate for public consumption as I see a lot of people form the opinion that you have without thinking it thru. I disagree with it for a number of reasons and the stance you take. I will first go over your statements and its flaws in round 1 (save a single statement that has some merit) and in round 2, unless you have a legitimate offer of proof for your statement, I will then present mine as you have said a lot. Hopefully we will all get something out of it.

R1-1a – “First off, let’s look at evolution; ‘As per Edwards’s v Aguillard, Creationism teaching creationism is illegal and not allowed in public schools in the United States. If it is, it should be reported. This is an argument from exception and anecdotal. This is not proof or evidence it should not be forced.

R1-2 – ‘Freedom. . . “This entire paragraph is all over the map. Not only that, your arguments by comparison are not valid or show proof of your argument “that religion should not be forced or taught.”

You present two impossible tenants to follow, 1) to express your religion freely and 2) religious free zone. This implies that I can be turn on and off my beliefs dependent upon a state rule or a location. Does a pro life individual become pro choice or stop being pro life when they enter say a hospital or voting booth or clinic. They both cannot be true, either you limit my religion in public sphere, or allow it to be present it in school. Again this is not proof and raises a point that validates neither your side of the debate or mine. . . .

As for your begging the question about a defenseless woman because she is in a hajib - I calling her faith morally bankrupt and based on ignorance is not a restriction of free speech. That is free speech. Me duck taping her mouth through legal means or not giving her the same ability to speech is a restriction of free speech. Your assumption of free speech is one sided, ALL OF WHICH has nothing to do with the debate on hand.

As for your question of a stressful situation. Math is stressful, Shakespeare is stressful, the holocaust is stressful and so honestly is presenting atheism to religious individuals whose whole world view would be destroyed. Comfort level is not a legitimate basis to avoid a subject. Also so you don’t straw man this point and mistake what I am saying, I would not advocate algebra in kinder garden or a presupisitional argument for anyone without the being able to understand logic, as they are beyond the capabilities of what a child at that stage could understand. Either way it’s not an argument for your BOP, or at least a weak one depending upon where you stand on an issue. This is argument based on special privilage.

Your 2nd last assumption that there are no atheistic schools, I refute completely. All public schools at least up to high school, are essentially atheist, they are not allowed by law to convert or actively promote one religion over another. Nor are they allowed to convert or preach. If they do they are in violation of the law. This is not an argument that Religions should not be forced upon students; it’s just restating what the current state is. As for Alternate schools, within 30 minutes of me there are a number of Jewish Schools, Muslim Schools. I am in Canada. You present an argument of ignorance, just because you do not see it or have heard it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or can be shown to be true. . .



Even if they did not have Catholic, Jewish or Muslim schools, none of this is an argument as to why religion should not be forced. . .

I have refuted all your opinions but this one below . . .

“So, as my first argument, I do heavily disagree that schools should say that Christianity is the only faith, also, I disagree with schools using the bible as a teaching method.”

This is the only objection that I have not refuted as its a statement of oppinion that supports my possition, not yours. I will address it but in round 2 as response is limited.

Debate Round No. 2


First off, I have point out that grammar in debates is extremely important, and if you misspell more than one word, the contender may not take is as seriously than if you had better spelling and grammar, but just to keep it going, I will ignore those errors and carry on.

You say that "As per Edwards"s v Aguillard, Creationism teaching creationism is illegal and not allowed in public schools in the United States' but you fail to spot your ignorance in this passage, the US isn't the only country in the world, there are several schools where you have to say a prayer (or say grace) before eating. How do I know this? Experience. In my old primary school (the UK's equivalent of elementary schools) we had to either sing a song or silently pray, even though I explicitly said that I was atheist, we were also told that we didn't evolve from monkeys, and that the first people where Adam and Eve, bear in mind that this wasn't a Christian school.

Next I will go onto the next rebuttal. You say that I present 'Two impossible tenants to follow' but they are NOT impossible. You see I do not want all schools to be religious free zones, but I want regular schools to let people express their religion without being pressurized to convert, whether you're an atheist or a scientologist and schools which are for atheists, so if you are a catholic, you cannot go to those schools. Like I said, I don't want ALL schools to be religious free zones, just to be able to express your religion.

OK, now onto the third rebuttal. Yes, I admit that I used the wrong words in the wrong time, but think about it this way; if you were a Christian, and a Muslim man came up to you, said that Allah is great, read from the Quran and said that you will go to heaven with 72 virgins, you would more than likely feel at least uncomfortable, and maybe even offended.

To be fair, I cannot think of anything to say to rebut that, so you win that part.

Onto the fifth rebuttal. Once again, the ignorance bug has bitten you. You point out that ALL public schools up to high school at least are essentially atheist, but like I said on my first rebuttal, I had to say grace in my primary schools, and that was a public school, and in my high school, there are plenty of religious people, whether Christian or Jewish. Next, you say that there are no atheistic schools, and that there are plenty of Muslim, Jewish etc. and I accept that, and the only reason why I didn't know that is because I live in a rural house far away from big cities with lots of schools.

Finally, you said nothing about the stress of teaching a religion that condemns homosexuality could have on homosexual pupils, so I may be detecting a hint of homophobia, just saying. But I am glad you didn't go all religious saying things like "God did it" and "It's in the bible so it must be true" I was excepting a lot of that.


For the feedback, thank you. I totally appreciate you treating this as a worthy debate. I’m enjoying it as well.

Rebuttal 1

I believe you are missing the point about religion in your school, and your examples. It an example, its not making your argument that Religion should not be forced on children in school. Your just stating what happened to you and others. Even if every 2nd school had prayer, it doesn't make your argument any different that it occurs. Did you want to avoid math, and do you not use it now? Is this not the same?

Rebuttal 2

You present two impossible tenants. Regardless, it doesn't support your argument, or further the debate, unless you’re going to say, your religion is allowed and your religion is not. It’s a side issue not related to the debate but problem with your overall argument, by saying one has priority of belief over another.

Rebuttal 3

So we go from weak women to a possible powerful fanatic. Interesting. As for unconformable it depends where I am an what I'm doing. If it’s in the bathroom probably uncomfortable. However if anyone knocks on my door during a reasonable time, I am more then willing to debate or talk with. Again begging the question does not further your argument. You still have not made an effective argument as to why. Discomfort and objection is not rational ground for your argument.

Rebuttal 4

Actually I think we both misunderstood. I took the position of North America an industrialized world, where you mean every school and public schools. However it doesn't address your question it shouldn't be forced, just that it varies what the laws are.

Rebuttal 5

Your argument from bias is slightly biased. I lived with 5 gay men during university, being the only straight one in the house for a year. A friend, who is a drag queen, upon his birthday, requested we all dress in drag for a night, as his present. I look fabulous in my g/fs dress. I am not homophobic.

My argument, which you seemed to miss, is that you cannot choose topics based on discomfort of the people involved. Your argument that it might offend gay people to hear that the bible says there doomed to hell is not a reason not to study the bible and its impact on history especially when it says that. Maybe if you taught it, you would have less gay Christians and more ration gay men when it came to religion. If your argument is not to teach people because it might offend them, then teaching evolution might offend Christians who believe in ID. If you choose to support gay offensive over Christian’s offense, what is your basis to choose?

again this is moving your argument forward, only if you choose to have rights over another based on discomfort. This is a weak argument.

My argument why religion should be forced.

Why? Its a school, where else are you supposed to learn things? Home study, your friend down the street a church? It is completely acceptable to force religion into school. Teach about religion, its effects, its contradictions, its actual message (slavery, incest, bigotry) and the fact you can’t prove a god exist. It’s like not teaching about Hitler and the holocaust and ignoring that it was a Christian idea and movement (Sam Harris, letters to a Christian Nation). To wit, not a single member of the founding fathers was Christian in any sense most people apply it and the treaty of Tripoli stated that US was not a Christian nation, which was signed by the congress. Again, very few people seem to know that. If people taught it you wouldn't have Michael Bauchman repeating it and being believed by a majority of Americans. If you don’t teach history, your doomed to repeat it.

Defiantly have religion in the class room, and you will have a lot less religious people in the world and a better informed public. And defiantly include ID in science, make it mandatory 1st year in high school. The more you read about what science is and the flaws of ID, the more people will stop calling it science. Show why it’s not, show how it’s not, and what science actually is. Teach the controversy.

You know how you get a well-informed person on a subject, have them read about it. The bible, include it as mandatory reading. Make children (or teens) read it. All of it. Twice. Have a pop quiz of "does god promote slavery and if so how many times?" "does the god really hate gay people?" `was the bible used to justify slavery in the south, north and everywhere else?` 'given that Jesus what born in the middle east, to Jewish parents, why is it that every church you walk in, he looks like an poster child for albinos hocking sun screen?" “What day did Jesus die, Friday morning, afternoon, Saturday, Sunday or all of the above?” you’re going to have a lot more rational people if you have to read it.

Debate Round No. 3


Daftpunkfan96 forfeited this round.


Please Vote Con. . . .
Debate Round No. 4


I was out camping, therefore I missed my part of the debate, but I will make up to it.

Argument one: Making someone do a school prayer is pretty much telling them that they HAVE to believe in god, and not believing in god is a moral sin, which it is not. If you where a Jew, you would feel uncomfortable if a Hindi came up to you and made you pray to the Hindi gods, every weekday, you would probably feel uncomfortable. I also see you are using math a lot, the thing is though, math isn't a religion. Go up to almost anyone who is over 6 and ask them "Does math exist?" and (roughly) 99% of them would say "Yes!" It's a thing all religions can agree that exists, it's not something you don't or you do believe in, it's there, it's been proven for millennia that it exists, there have been photos taken of it, whilst there have been no photos taken of god.

Argument two: Once again, you say the words "You present two impossible tenants" with pretty much the same argument as your last argument. You seem to be getting confused, I have nothing wrong with religious people being In schools, and I have nothing wrong with those people expressing their religions, I just want a few atheist only schools scattered about, the regular schools will stay, and they will not be atheist only.

Argument three: Woah, we are getting a little insensitive here. You say the term "Weak women" which is basically implying that all Muslim women are weak, and she didn't have the power to get up and leave, which she does. You say that if that person knocks on your door at a reasonable time, you are OK with debating with them. But are you OK with them trying to convert you, and you not getting a say? I don't think so.

Argument four: OK, that was I admit my argument that you where trying to rebut was almost purely done out of spite of your ignorance, but I still said that thing about the school prayer, so it wasn't nothing

Argument five: So you are saying that if a religion makes someone uncomfortable, it should still be forced? If you where a black guy, and someone was forcing a religion which so heavily condemns black people make you feel really uncomfortable? And I want there to be gay Christians, and some Christians are now against Leviticus 18:22, but since the majority aren't, I acted like all of them weren't.

Final argument: First of, you seem to be getting "Forced" muddled up with "Taught about" I am OK with teachers teaching about religion, as long as they say things like "Some people believe..." And so on.

One last thing; begging for votes? Pathetic! People will vote for who they want without being told. If you make a good argument, then people will vote for you, and you won't have to tell them to.


I am glad your back, though we are short a response; please do not hold it against PRO. As for the begging for votes, I assumed you forfeited completely.

Once again I do not see you making any valid reasons that religion shouldn’t be forced on children in schools. I do not think outrage, discomfort and personal objection are valid arguments, though they are emotionally compelling.

Also I don’t care if it’s a man, women, Muslim or Christian, you’re framing the question in a way to try to evoke a personal response to make a point by exception rather than an argument.

Also suggesting my bias, which is silly as I was at pride while you were camping, which is a pro gay parade, shows the weakness of your argument. I am not anti-gay, I just find your argument not logical or accurate.

Also your argument from not at all, to it should be taught what other believe and not one religion is true, is different and that even if you have slightly shifted your position will eventually end up with the same problem. They can’t be all true, and your imply one or more is false. Why go to the logical conclusion, if there is no proof why believe in a god at all?

The best way to educate people is to actually do that, educate them on the facts, logic and reason. It should be forced into the classroom and it should be taught accurately, rather than interpreted falsely as so many people do, to fit their personal or religious view.

Why is it important to teach the bible and religion accurately? Because it’s such a big part of society, it shaped our history and inspired our art. So much of the wold is shaped by it, to ignore it is to do education and students a disservice.

If you think objection due to discomfort then the holocaust is a non-subject, or white washed subject, because it might offend Christian to hear how is was a Christian movement to kill the Jews. It was important, it was a major moment in history and students should be forced to learn about the holocaust, why it happened and how it came to be. You’re not teaching that the Nazi point of view is true, just why they believed and how it was wrong and what it did to the world. Nor do you invite various hate groups into the class and let them via for students or present interpretations that are easily disproven or false. Why? Because the truth matters.

The truth is the truth is the truth is the truth, and your discomfort doesn’t matter. I dont care if you believe 2+2=5 and your believe it should be allowed as legitimate math in the class room (unless to point out why its not true and example of bad math). Just like I don’t care if you feel uncomfortable that the bible teaches you’re going to hell for being gay, it’s what the book says. Offense is not a reason not to teach something. If it’s relevant, if it’s required to operate in the world or it’s relevant to the world once you go out into it, it should be taught.

You even suggest this, by going half way to teaching what people believe, but not once did you say teach the facts and that there is no proof for god, and assuming one is illogical. Why?

Your original object is Religion should not be forced, is now only teach what they believe even if it’s not true? What would be what next, opt out for people who object to hard math as they do with sex ed in many places, or avoid teaching it all together like evolution in many places? Oh wait, that was the original argument. Again, I say it should be forced into the classroom and taught accurately not preached inaccurate.

Thank you

This was extremely fun an interesting and I will debate you on other subjects any time as I found your viewpoints challenging and interesting. Seriously thank you. . . Please comments on votes are greatly appreciated as well. . .Thank for reading.

Debate Round No. 5
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by NathanDuclos 2 years ago
I hope camping was fun, and if your reading the debate, please don't hold Camping against pro, I was at a parade other wise my answer would have been quicker as well. . . . .

Thank you pro, twas fun . . the word limit made it really hard and challenging and far more fun. . . .
Posted by Daftpunkfan96 2 years ago
Posted by Daftpunkfan96 2 years ago
Well whilst your at it, you can post your round for the debete
Posted by NathanDuclos 2 years ago
HA, camping please dont hold missed post . . . . .

Posted by Daftpunkfan96 2 years ago
Note: A lot of you seem to be getting forced with "Teached about" I am alright with teachers teaching about these religions and their origins, but as long as they say things like "These people believe..." Or "These people think you should..." And they don't say that it is the correct belief, or that you should believe it.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Maybe the class could be called "Abnormal Philosophies".
or "Things People Believe".
That way you could include all superstitions including the religions in one class.

It could start with Palmistry, Tarot Card Reading, Judaism, Astrology, Christianity, Psychics, Iridology, homeopathy, Islam, Numerology, Shintoism, Telepathy, Buddhism, etc.....
Mix them up or you could put all the Judaic and Hindu religions in order of appearance, to demonstrate the Evolution of Superstitions.
Posted by NathanDuclos 2 years ago
I was waiting for PRO to respond, but basically the argument is, Kids have math, science and language forced on them, and why not force religion. I totally agree that religion should be taught, honestly, as in all the horrible things as well, and that many of the good things can be found else where. honestly, how many atheist are who they are because they actually had to read the book, and the more your aware of actual facts, the less you can be ignorant. . . .

As for Sagey - Yes, if you actually were to teach some of the idiocy, you would probably have a lynch mob. .
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
A little confusing, seems like Con is saying that basically teaching religion (non denominational) as in here is Religion, this is what religion does to people's minds (can make them dumber than monkeys) and here are the good points, well errr, it can give some ppl piece of mind, but that is all the good it ever does.
So kiddies, what do you say about relgion?
Kids: Yuck, it's horrible!
Yay, I forced religion onto students and now they don't want any of it!

Even Richard Dawkins would likely support such forcing of religion onto students.
But, I think some parents may want to enter the school and approach the teacher with guns and knives.
Posted by Jelera 2 years ago
It's simple - kids should be able to make a choice on what they want to believe and school isn't that place. School should be for learning the skills needed in the future, not what and who to believe in or not. Kids will form an opinion either way, so let them do so in a religion free environment. Churches are for religion.
Posted by Cazaam 2 years ago
NiamC, It can be in the UK. I made a debate very similar to this one now in the voting phase entitled "Mandatory School Prayer"
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited, could have won on arguments, but gave Con the upper hand by forfeiting and thus a conduct point as well.